I’m Back!

In my last post (way back in July), I talked about my weight struggles since having a baby in May. After that post, things did not get better. I went back to work at the beginning of August, continuing to binge and steadily gain weight until the beginning of 2017. I had a hard time adjusting to going back to work. I’d get a handle on things for a few days to a few weeks at a time, but ultimately, I’d succumb to my demons.

I made some decisions and discoveries near the end of 2016. The main decision was that I needed to get medical treatment for my binge eating disorder. The big discovery was that I was diagnosed with ADHD, which is where much of my impulsive behavior (i.e. binge eating) and anxiety stem from. I’ll delve more into the specifics of this in another post.

So, I’ve been taking a 2-pronged approach to the issue at hand. I see a therapist every other week to address the behavioral issues: ADHD, binge eating, debilitating anxiety, other demons. And I go to the Center for Weight Management and Nutrition at my local hospital once a month to deal with the weight problems; we have not yet ruled out the possibility of weight loss surgery, but at the very least it’s a good, old-fashioned hand-holding.

I’m hoping that the therapy will be effective since I plan to continue breastfeeding for quite some time and am not able to take any medications to treat the ADHD or anxiety. I like my therapist, but I’m not yet sure if she’s totally equipped to deal with an eating disorder. I’m giving her a chance though! I just had an entire week off the rails after being on the right track for over a month, but the last 2 days have been better. I haven’t been weighing myself at home, only at my doctor’s visits, so I am nervous to see how this all pans out at my appointment next Wednesday afternoon.

  • 1/10/2017: 288.1
  • 1/31/2017: 276.4

There! The numbers are back out there in the blogosphere, so now I have to curb my impulses, right? Right??!

Goals:

  • 80-100 g protein per day
  • Less than 24 g added sugar per day
  • Meet daily step goals
  • Recumbent bike 3-4 times per week

Now I need to go catch up on all the blogs I have been neglecting! What’s new with you? Has anyone successfully managed ADHD and/or anxiety without meds?

New Beginning

So, the last time we talked, I announced that I was pregnant. I’ve read one too many weight loss blog that turned into a pregnancy blog that immediately lost me as a reader to know that I didn’t want to go that route with my blog.

That being said, I’m a mom!

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With my second re-birthday on the horizon, I’m feeling a little sentimental, so let’s catch up! The day I found out I was pregnant, I weighed 219.0 pounds. The day I delivered, I tipped the scales at about 282 (I think). I gave birth to a beautiful little 7 pound 2 ounce baby in mid-May and officially weighed 240.0 pounds as soon as the fluid melted away (within about two weeks). Since then, however, I have battled the following things:

  • Breastfeeding hunger
  • My baby’s milk protein allergy (meaning I went dairy free)
  • A lingering sweet tooth from quitting smoking
  • The inability to bring myself to routinely prepare healthful and appealing meals while caring for a needy newborn

As a result, I somehow weighed 257 lbs at my doctor’s appointment on Monday of this week.

In spite of all of this, I need to pause to remind myself that I used to weigh 353.4 pounds and even though I’ve gained weight, I’m still nowhere near 353.4 pounds. So, how do I get back on track? Honestly, I’ve become complacent and fallen into the not tracking and not caring trap once again, though for most of my pregnancy, I did track my food. Lately, I’ve been so consumed by the baby that the “nice” thing I do for myself is eat horrible food that tastes amazing but is leaving this totally saggy gut in its wake.

Since having the baby, I initially started by making one goal each day to get back into the swing of things. My house is now back in order, the baby has a routine, so now I need to take those few poorly executed attempts at meal planning that just haven’t panned out and actually get back in the saddle.

How did I do this before? How did I lose 133 pounds in one year? I started with simple guidelines. I reread my first month’s recap where I discussed the keys to my success that first month. I’ve had so many false starts with tracking my food over the past few months, and now with the baby, the last thing I want to do is to have to remember one more thing like tracking every little thing I eat. The answer? My very own advice:

  1. Simply filling.
  2. No soda or booze for the first month.
  3. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat.
  4. No obsessing.

The other way I set myself up for success? I religiously wrote in this blog and posted my weekly weigh-ins, milestones, measurements, everything.

I’m going to take tonight and tomorrow to prep my grocery list and pantry for the week ahead. Friday will be my first official postpartum weigh-in!

How are the rest of you doing?

21 Day Fix

I just finished day 2, round 1 of the 21 Day Fix workout.

“Sore” is an understatement!

I find that I’m able to keep up with the workouts (following some of the modifications). Instead of feeling discouraged that I have to do modifications, I’m feeling impressed by how far I’ve come since August! I would NOT have been able to do this program 3 months ago. My body feels stronger in spite of the fact that I am currently unable to bend over to tie my shoes and have to brace myself to sit on the toilet.

It’s a good hurt.

I’m feeling optimistic about following through on this workout regime. My sister-in-law is doing it too (she’s following the full 21 Day Fix program), and having someone to talk to about the workouts as I do them is really motivating.

As for my measurements, I’ve decided to wait until 10/31 to record them… both to capture a full month and hoping for an extra few inches in 3 days!

How are your workouts going? Are you trying anything new? How do you beat those sore muscles?

Implementing Activity

Let’s be honest: I am still struggling with implementing activity into my daily life. While I have met my daily FitBit Flex step goals most days, I am still not so good about getting in actual workouts. So far this week, I worked out on Monday… that was it (and I was good and sore for 2 or 3 days!), unless you count an especially energetic bout of … umm, intimate times with the husband the other day.

I keep thinking about this. What can I do that I enjoy? I do honestly enjoy the Power 90 Sculpt circuit, and I used to LOVE yoga. These days, though, yoga is more uncomfortable than it is enjoyable, and I constantly find myself comparing my movements to how I USED to be able to do them. I know that I can’t expect to be super awesomely bendy right from the get-go, but it’s frustrating, and I don’t enjoy it right now. On Tuesday, I made it through an entire 5 minutes of the Power 90 yoga component before I just turned it off and sat on the couch.

For this reason, I keep trying to find other workouts that I will enjoy in the meantime. I know I keep talking about my knees, but my right foot has also been bothering me since mid-August when I did yoga one day, and since then, it has been bothering me in the same place that I had broken it nearly 4 years ago. I don’t know why it hurts since it’s never bothered me since it healed, and I feel like I should go to the doctor, but part of me has been putting that off because I want to have lost 50 lbs before I go back to the doctor. I know it’s silly, but I’m craving praise!

I know, I need to just pick something and do it. No excuses. I will feel better in the long run, and the more I strengthen muscles around problem areas like my knees, the more I will be able to do. I would like to go back to physical therapy, but I don’t think that my HSA can handle it, plus my physical therapist will totally yell at me for messing up my knees after she fixed them last year.

Does anyone out there have knee issues? What workouts have you found that were doable, yet also worked to strengthen your knees? I need help!

 

But You Have Such a Pretty Face

I can’t believe it, but the following expression popped out of my mouth today at work: “You look really cute today!”

Meant as a compliment, this phrase is just all wrong. It implies that while you look cute today, you don’t necessarily look even okay-ish on other days. I immediately apologized, but it reminded me of how many times I have heard (and LOATHED) the backhanded compliment, “But you have such a pretty face!”

I’ll own up to it; my face is pretty pretty, but if there is one thing that I find more offensive than that sentence, I’m not sure what it is (and if I did figure it out, I doubt it would be blog-appropriate).

A veritable litany of alternate meanings are hiding under these 7 words:

  • But you have such a pretty face (not to mention your huge ass!)
  • (Your body is so ugly,) But you have such a pretty face!
  • But you have such a pretty face (even though the rest of you makes me want to puke!)
  • (I’m staring at you hoping that never happens to me,) But (at least) you have such a pretty face!
  • (I can’t believe it,) But (in spite of all your fat) you have such a pretty face!

I could go on.

I don’t often get up on my soapbox, but I’m tired of being the fat girl with the pretty face. I know I can’t change the way society views me (and other beautiful ladies like me), but I can change my own perceptions. So often, it’s too easy to accept that the opinions of others really define us. I am done with living in shame and going out of my way so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of those who might see my big, fat body.

I am beautiful and intelligent, not in spite of my fatness, but right along with it. This is my body. I am working to make that body more healthy and have a better quality of life, but think about this for a second: my body (and your body!) is amazing.

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I couldn’t resist a cheesy selfie.

In spite of the horrible treatment I have put this body through, it still works to carry me around.

In spite of the binge drinking and the binge eating of fast food and pizza and chips, my body is not diabetic. It has a near-perfect blood pressure in the 118/75 range, and it is surprisingly bendy.

This body is dexterous. Did you know that I have a B.A. in Music?

This body hardly has any body hair, though it does have a propensity for sweating.

It is far past the time where I give something back to my body for all it has done for me. I am giving my body the gift of whole, fresh, and healthful foods, and I am working to make it stronger. I won’t always have a pretty face (I can dream, can’t I?), but if I don’t start giving back to my body, it is eventually going to give up on me.

What awesome things has your body has done for you??

Lunges

I’ve had bad knees since I had a bad drunken dancing accident  when I was 21.

I figure there are worse ways to have gone down than on a beer-covered dance floor that lights up, but it has been an on-again, off-again struggle ever since. I went to physical therapy for 6 weeks last summer (and I LOVED it!) after my doctor told me that I had arthritis and an effusion on the right knee. It had me pretty well sorted out, but of course I wasn’t as diligent with those exercises in the months following my therapy.

Continue reading

Week 4 Weigh-In

One month down! It’s been a good month, and an excellent start to my journey. Check out my weight tracker here.

This month, I was mainly focused on just getting started, getting into a groove, and staying on track. Since I’ve hit the 30-day mark (which is historically the point where I take a fantastic dive right off the wagon), I’ve been thinking about goals, both short-term and long-term. That’s material for my next post!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 328.2 lbs
  • Current Week: 324.4 lbs
  • This week’s change: -3.8 lbs
  • Change overall: -29.0 lbs

29 pounds in 31 days! I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. I was hoping for 15-20.

What do I think are the major contributing factors?  Continue reading

Simply Filling on a Budget

On Sundays, I coupon.

I’m not an extreme couponer (like my mom), but I try to stay in the $40 – $60 weekly range on groceries. This is easier said than done when trying to eat more healthfully. In case you’ve never noticed, most coupons are for… well, crap. You’ve got to get creative when trying to live frugally and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is where careful planning and stockpiling come in. For example, I know that every few weeks, English muffins go on sale for “Buy 1, Get 2 Free.” There’s no way I’m going to buy one package of English muffins on an off week. I’ve got a freezer for a reason. Continue reading

The Plan

My company’s newsletter announced that we are now eligible for a discount on the Weight Watchers program. It’s not a large discount, but it was enough to pique my interest and get me back in the saddle. If you read my story, you know that out of all the things I’ve tried, WW has been the only program that I’ve really had success. But, I think part of the reason I lost that momentum was because I was so tired of counting every little thing I put in my mouth. It’s why the food diaries on Spark People and MyFitnessPal didn’t work either. When it comes down to it, how do I spend the rest of my life counting? If it’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change, it needs to be sustainable. For me, counting wasn’t it. Continue reading

My Story

I’ve been overweight since I was a baby and the doctor told my mother to switch me to skim milk.

Does anyone else remember the yearly shamefest of being weighed and measured at school? Then, they’d write down your height and weight on a slip of paper and send it home with you. I remember that dreaded day in third grade: the kids in my class were comparing their heights and weights when the boy next to me leaned over, saw my paper and announced, “Alison weighs over a hundred!” I was mortified. At the age of 8, I already weighed 117 pounds. But my parents’ well-meaning friends kept telling me, “When you hit your growth spurt, you’ll thin right out! That’s just baby fat!”

So, I kept waiting for this growth spurt that never came. In fifth grade, I was 5′ tall. Newsflash: by the ripe old age of 29, I’ve growth-spurted myself right to 5’1″. Continue reading